Serpentinites are formed during subduction of oceanic crust and can give insights to processes occurring, when the crust meets the mantle.
OriginSerpentinite from the Col des Bagnelles in the Vosges Mountains, France
- Highly depleted in most trace elements, except for transition metals.
- LILE (Rb, Sr, K, Ba): 4.00 - 166 µg/g.
- HFSE (Zr, Hf, Th, U, Nb, Ta) 0.02-13 µg/g.
- Transition metals (Sc, V, Cr, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn) 0.3-55.0 µg/g.
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Ultramafic rocks are characterised by very low silica (SiO2) content of <45 m/m%. and low potassium. Their principal mineralogy is comprised of Mg and Fe-rich minerals such as pyroxenes and olivine. The Earth's mantle consists of ultramafic rocks. Another term used to describe these rocks is ultrabasic, which includes rocks, that have a low silica content, but are not high in Mg and Fe i.e. carbonatites and ultrapotassic igneous rocks.